They scratched their names on the stones, in the trees

Dawn took the side of the bed my mom once slept in and that left me the side that was John’s. I’d sometimes look in on him sleeping before we flew back home, but wouldn’t wake him, it was easier saying goodbye to myself. And so now I’m here with all his dreams swimming around me no different than my own dad’s or mine, the dreams of our fathers, no matter how many times you wash the sheets some things won’t come out.

Last night I dreamt I met one of my favorite singers and gave a toast for him, got to see him for how he was as a kid, his eyes and freckles real to me, locked on mine, listening. I said he was someone I knew so well before I got to meet him in person, I knew him first through his records, and what he made.

And like having kids, is that the best part of us, what we made? And how much is the rest worth knowing? And if you haven’t yet made what you set out to, then how much of a someone are you to yourself? Are you just passing through?

I was leaning in the shade of a storefront and some tourists asked me when the store opened and was there some other place in town they could buy spirits? They couldn’t read the signs, it was like a new language to them. I said I’m just visiting, good luck.



Categories: writing

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20 replies

  1. Ah…see? There’s the difference, right there. The reason to stay put while abroad. Suddenly you’re not a visitor yourself, you’re an expat. How quickly you rose! Also, I was just about to go to bed and now I’ve got visions of you and your wife and your unwashable sheets full of things that won’t come out. Thanks. These tourists weren’t American, I’d guess. Americans wouldn’t ask where they could buy ‘spirits.’

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    • Thank you Walt. I thought about you last night watching No Country for Old Men — I think you might have recommended it to me, I don’t remember. So much good stuff in that film though.

      And thanks for your encouragement, I think about that from time to time, what you said about feeling at home, which is nice.

      Funny, but the tourists were Americans. They must have spotted me as one too because they just launched into American-English with me, southerners, eyeballing the bottles of Scotch in the store window.

      Thanks for being here with me for all this, it’s fun.

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  2. I love the whole first paragraph of this, about dreams swimming and swimming in dreams and the collective unconscious. The tie in to ‘spirits’ in the last paragraph is such a great tie in to the idea of tourists as ghosts, passing through. Ghosts and spirits and dreams. Was it intentional? And I ask because if you say it was, then I will be very jealous that I didn’t think of the concoction. If you say no? Well, then I shall think you are even more clever for being clever without being aware of it.

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  3. I love the idea of meeting idolized people in dreams. Who’s to say it wasn’t really him? 😉 (Wondering who he is, by the way…)

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    • It was a remarkable dream, like I only get once a year or so. Isaac Brock, from Modest Mouse. Probably would be disappointed meeting him, from what I’ve seen of his stage presence, and that’s another point I was teasing out: how maybe with artists their best expression isn’t themselves per se, but what they’ve let go of themselves through what they created. That thing about keeping your heroes at a distance. Mark Kozelek is that for me, too.

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  4. Writing has intrigued to the point of wanting to write so raw that I dream about doing it but I usually only scratch the surface of what’s buried so deep inside me. Thx for the reminder with this piece .

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    • I dream about it too, get the words coming together in subconsciousness. Keep a pen and pad by your bed if you don’t already.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes. The fact is my writing wants to go raunchy. I have readers that follow I don’t want see this writing . I think I may need to start a fresh new blog. It’s pretty much all sexual writing.

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      • It’s your blog, but I understand the challenge/conflict of trying to please people who’ve come to follow you. So yeah, I don’t know what to say to that — perhaps starting a new one, but then the complexity of managing two? Should be interesting. Write it out.

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      • Thx for the encouragement .

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      • It’s your story to tell, so tell it. It’s likely no one will, not better than you could.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Bill, with alI that I had happen in my life, the fact that I found a new happiness has been quite the ride. ( think cougar and dating men in their 20s ) and might I add with gusto. I’ve surprised myself. 🙀 the stories are quite amazing . Time will tell how I will approach this..

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  5. Dreaming real people is always super strange. I had a deep hang out session with John Green and his bro one time. Same thing like yours it was oddly relevant, touching and insightful. I think there is probably a big lesson there about the influence of different Media-type interactions. Think you’ re just watching some stupid videos on youtube, next thing you know you’re getting all existential with them in the other worlds…As always, pleasure to read thanks for sharing.

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    • That’s super cool, the John Green reference. Just discovered him like four days ago and coincidental you should mention him — we were watching some video on the Khan Academy for homeschooling our kids, and I really enjoyed his clip about the history of the industrial revolution — and my wife has read one of his books. That’s neat, you had a hang session with him. It’s fascinating where our minds can go that way, and I’m glad you took the time to stop by, read, and share your thoughts. Thank you. – Bill

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